Rock, Paper, ObamaPosted: December 9, 2011
Barack Obama’s presidency has been marked by two things: a failure to live up to the “HOPE” and “CHANGE” that defined his candidacy (unless you count kind-of-closing-Guantanamo and repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as being colossal victories), and a spree of badass one-liners and longcocking.
I mean, there was the whole killing Osama bin Laden thing, then there was him schooling Donald Trump and all the birthers at the White House Correspondence dinner. For awhile, it looked like he was all out of magic. Then came this:
I know what you’re thinking: oh my God, that’s badass. And you know what? It is.
There are a lot of things I don’t understand about Obama. I don’t understand, for example, why he spent the first part of his term in office playing compromise with the Republicans knowing it wouldn’t accomplish anything. But one thing that always bugged me was his wit. One just has to read Dreams From My Father to see he’s a smart guy. Hell, just listen to him talk and it’s obvious. Personally though, watching him when he was running against McCain and for the first part of his presidency, I wasn’t exactly blown away. Now that he actually seems to be trying, I’m pretty impressed.
Of course, quips and one-liners don’t (always) win elections. Months ago I figured that his re-election was a sure thing. Now, I’m having my doubts. Not because his opponents have improved, but because I honestly think he’s been doing worse. People like a strong leader and a strong President. Saying “Ask Osama bin Laden… [if] I engage in appeasement” or schooling Donald Trump or making fun of his invisible Vice President Joe Biden.
Obama, I’m sure, wants to be remembered as a leader of substance, one who challenged politicians on both sides of the fence to work together to make America a better place. He does not, I imagine, want to be remembered as “the funny president” or “the witty president” or even “the black president”. I get it. But Obama needs to show America and the world — because, let’s face it, who is in the White House is pretty important to every individual on the planet — that he’s a strong leader. Showing his enemies that he doesn’t fuck around is a good way of doing that.